A first for Asia as Hong Kong is chosen to host Gay Games


An Asian city will host the Gay Games for the first time after Hong Kong was announced as the bid winner for the 2022 event.

On Tuesday, the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) revealed that the city had beaten out two other competitors; Guadalajara in Mexico and Washington D.C. in the US.

“The impact that the Gay Games has in host cities is incredible in terms of culture, sport, economic impact, history and most importantly elevating all matters of LGBT+ equality,” the FGG said in a statement.

Site inspections of the three finalist cities by a team of inspectors from Australia, Germany, Canada, and the US took place in June and July ahead of the final selection.

Cape Town was one of the nine other cities that had expressed interest in hosting the event in the first phase of the bidding process, but failed to make it to the semi-final round.

According to the South China Morning Post, the Hong Kong bid was supported by more than 120 local groups and individuals including the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Tourism Board and Cathay Pacific Airways.

“It will be the first time this kind of sports and cultural event is ever held in Hong Kong, or anywhere in Asia,” said EOC Chairperson Professor Alfred CHAN Cheung-ming

“We believe that it will be an excellent opportunity to promote equality and respect of LGBTI people, as well as celebrating diversity and encouraging participation of all.”

Paul Choi, from the Hong Kong 2022 bid team, told the newspaper that he hopes the Games will be a “catalyst” for the government to implement anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBT people.

While homosexuality was legalised in Hong Kong in 1991, same sex unions or marriages are not recognised and there are no laws specifically banning discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation.

The next Gay Games takes place in Paris in August, 2018 and will feature 36 sports, 14 cultural events, an academic conference and up to 15,000 participants from 70 countries.

Launched in 1982, the Gay Games promote equality and is the largest sport and culture event in the world open to all, regardless of sexuality or gender identity.

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